Working in science and research with a degree (or similar)

Many people working in science and research have a degree. A good university degree in a science subject will improve your chances of getting a job.

Consider doing a degree that includes work placements or a year in industry. Or you could take relevant paid employment before going to university.

Case study

Working in science and research

I have just begun a part time degree for a BSc in Applied Chemistry. This will hopefully lead to me getting a degree and allow me to progress further with my career...

Harry Green, analytical quality control scientist

Example jobs

Research scientist
Carries out research in a specialist area of science.

Product designer
Designs and constructs products and structures.

Food scientist or technologist
Works in the food and drinks industry to create new products and improve existing ones.

Cosmetic scientist
Develops or improves perfume, make-up, hair products and toiletries, ensuring that they meet safety requirements.

Patent attorney
Assesses inventions and decides if they are eligible to be patented.

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Salaries will vary with qualifications and experience.

Pay levels graph

Typical working conditions

  • As an energy engineer you might work on site in all weathers as well as in an office. You might be located offshore in a remote place.
  • Patent attorneys tend to be office-based.
  • As a scientist you could be located in a lab, factory or office.
  • As a space engineer, you could work in an office, production hangar or aeronautical laboratory.

Qualifications needed

  • Make sure that your A level and other Level 3 qualifications at school or college are in the right combination of subjects.
  • For almost all science and research jobs, you will need sciences and/or maths. Then choose a degree in science, engineering or a technical-based subject.

Career path

  • Taking postgraduate courses can help you to be promoted into senior roles or to specialise further in your field.
  • Accreditation from a professional body such as the Institute of Food Science & Technology will improve your opportunities for career progression.
  • Language skills may also be relevant for work in this industry if you want to work abroad.
  • Having a science background could allow you to move into a related sales or marketing role.

Useful links

Pearson is not responsible for content on external websites.

LANTRA (Land-based & Environmental Industries)

Information about the training, skills and qualifications you will need for a career in land-based and environmental industries

Institute of Food Science & Technology

Careers in the food industry